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Dave Harmon

Haskell Targeted as Dullahan Returns to Work

Trainer Dale Romans also drills Whitney hopeful Shackleford at Churchill Downs.

Dullahan and Shackleford  were among the stars from trainer Dale Romans' barn that posted published workouts at Churchill Downs June 23.

Donegal Racing’s Dullahan appeared on the Churchill work tab for the first time since his seventh-place finish in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) two weeks earlier. Romans said he is preparing the son of Even the Score  for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park July 29.
“We haven’t given up thinking he can run on dirt,” Romans said. “If we want to try him on the turf after that, we can always wheel him back in the Secretariat (gr. IT).”
The Secretariat is scheduled for 1 ¼ miles on the turf at Arlington Park on Aug. 18.
Working in the second set after the renovation break, Dullahan breezed five furlongs on the fast main track in 1:00 3/5, which was the fifth fastest move of 28 at the distance. Dullahan recorded fractions of :12 3/5, :24 2/5, :36, :47 4/5, and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14 1/5.
“He worked well,” Romans said. “We wanted him to get out there and stretch his legs.”
Dullahan, a half-brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird, ran third in the 2012 Kentucky Derby.
Mike Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge’s homebred Shackleford, winner of the 2011 Preakness (gr. I) and this year’s Met Mile (gr. I) by the narrowest of margins, is expected to make his next start in the Whitney Handicap (gr. II) Aug. 4 at Saratoga Race Course. A 4-year-old chestnut son of Forestry, Shackleford breezed five furlongs on Saturday morning in 1:03 3/5.
In addition, Romans said Shackleford’s older half-sister, Afleeting Lady, who finished second behind Royal Delta in the Fleur de Lis Presented by Finlandia Vodka (gr. II), will be pointed to the Molly Pitcher (gr. II) July 29 at Monmouth.
Priscilla Vaccarezza’s Little Mike, winner of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. I) on Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Day undercard, has been shipped to California for the June 30 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) at Betfair Hollywood Park, Romans said. 
Meanwhile, Frank Jones Jr.’s Tapitsfly, winner of the Longines Just a Game (gr. IT) at Belmont Park in her last start, will be pointed to the Diana (gr. IT) on the turf at Saratoga July 28. Tapitsfly was under consideration for the Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs, but Romans decided he wanted the 5-year-old daughter of Tapit to have more time between races.  
Romans will have a starter in the Firecracker, though. Michael Bruder’s Guys Reward is being pointed to the race off his victory in the Opening Verse at Churchill Downs on June 9. It was the second win of the spring meet for Guys Reward, who was third in last spring’s Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT).
The Firecracker is one of two stakes that will be run at Churchill Downs on closing weekend. The other is the Bashford Manor (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at six furlongs on the main track. Romans will start Donegal Racing’s Roman's Avenue, who broke his maiden in his career debut on May 27.